T Nation

1st Cycle Critique

First let me make an introduction:
I’ve lurked around the site for about a year now, just soaking up knowledge where I could. I always told myself I wouldn’t run a cycle until I was at least 200lbs, and when I was ready I would join up and run it by some of the more experienced guys here.

Ht: 5’10
Wt: 212
Bench: 330
Squat: 420
Dead: 445
Goals: Mass and strength, No preference for absolute bodybuilding, but I’m no powerlifter either. Both are important to me.

Diet: five solid meals a day with 2-3 shakes. Usually totaling out between 4500-5000 calories. My diet is about 40/40/20 as far as protein, carbs, and fats go. To save you the math, I try to take in about 450g of protein and carbs, and about 100g of fat every day. This has allowed me to bulk pretty well without an unacceptable amount of fat gain. I’ll take muscles with a few cuts over shredded bones any day though! So on to the cycle:

Weeks 1-4
Dianabol: 30mg/ED

Weeks 1-10
Test-e: 250mg/e3d
Arimidex: .25mg/eod (ED if needed)
HCG: 250iu/e3d
*Plenty of Nolvadex on hand if sides occur. (20mg/day till sides cease.)

PCT:
Test-e: 50mg/e3d for first four weeks
40mg/e3d Week 5
30mg/e3d Week 6
20mg/e3d Week 7
10mg/e3d Week 8
Arimidex: .25mg/eod for first two weeks
.125mg/eod for week 3
Nolvadex: 20mg/day Weeks 5-6
10mg/day Weeks 7-8

PCT is the trickiest part for me. I’ve heard some say that the taper and traditional SERM plans shouldn’t be mixed. Others say it can speed things along. I feel like the cycle is pretty solid and pct isn’t a disaster, but I’m sure you guys can help me improve it.

looks pretty good to my inexperienced eyes. I don’t think you should mix the traditional with the taper IMHO though.

I was unsure about it. I like how prisoner laid things out (tapering the arimidex by the third week of the stasis), but I have the nolvadex handy too. I guess my philosophy here is that it may not do an amazing amount of extra good, but I don’t see what it could hurt either. I’m honestly just trying to play it extra safe I guess. By all means though, if someone knows something I don’t about the nolva fucking up the taper, let me know. Just means I’ll have more on hand for the future.

Nolva doesn’t mess anything up during the stasis, I’ve found no need for it during the taper, if you’ve done everything else right up to that point. Pris also suggest weening yourself off of all ancillaries by the time you begin tapering down. I’d just save my money and keep the nolva on hand in case I felt I needed it. I doubt you will, however, as you have set up a terrific first cycle, almost identicle to my own first cycle, which was wildly successful.

Keep us posted. It’s great to see somebody here with a first post that actually shows he’s been here for longer than a week.

The cycle does look good.

My suggestion pertains to your stasis/taper. Without doing the specific math, if you pin every third day on the stasis/taper, you actually end up with more test in your system than the intended 100mg week for the four weeks you laid out, and more than the dosages prescribed during the taper as well. There will be some weeks your pinning three times, some two, etc. All that means is change to pinning twice a week, or every 3.5 days to simplify the stasis/taper.

The thoughts on using the nolva during the stasis/taper vary. I don’t think it would do you any good during the stasis, as you are still injecting somewhere around your endo test levels. You’d be sending conflicting messages to your body, since one one hand you have your normal test levels, and yet you’re sending stimulus for your testes to start producing test again. It makes the most sense to use nolva during the taper itself. You testes should recognize that test levels are lowered, and begin to produce their own. The nolva helps to jumpstart the process. That is my understanding of it, anyway.

[quote]5.0 wrote:
The cycle does look good.

My suggestion pertains to your stasis/taper. Without doing the specific math, if you pin every third day on the stasis/taper, you actually end up with more test in your system than the intended 100mg week for the four weeks you laid out, and more than the dosages prescribed during the taper as well.

I don’t think it would do you any good during the stasis, as you are still injecting somewhere around your endo test levels. It makes the most sense to use nolva during the taper itself. [/quote]

My apologies. When typing it, I had the twice per week injection plan in my head, but just kind of wasn’t thinking about how vague e3d sounded. As far as the nolva goes, I want to say that I had said 20mg/d in weeks five and six with 10mg in weeks seven and eight.

None during the stasis. I may have had another typo though. I know others have said the nolva may not be needed. My concern is that I purposely made the taper a couple of weeks shorter than Prisoner had suggested. I thought that the nolva in the taper would allow this shortening.

Thanks for all the feedback so far, and I hope I’m not sounding like an uneducated fool here (although I am pretty uneducated compared to most of you guys!)

Good to go. Looks like a sound plan. When do you plan to start?

Hopefully within the next month. Waiting on my Arimidex and Nolvadex right now. Got everything else though.

Waiting on a few more things. I was thinking about the HCG injections, and I can’t really find a solid “best” protocol for using it. I read that the day before the test injections would be acceptable, but I just want that to be verified or something better suggested. Thanks for all your help guys.

Most pin 250-500mgs most split there dose into three injections through out the week more inj. if you like.

I know you meant well with that comment, but I’m not asking how much or how many times to pin. I’ll be doing 250iu every third day. My question is when should I do it? Same day as the test, day before, or day after? While I’m at it, where on my body would be the most convenient place to stick? Thanks for your input.

Do you feel the hcg is absolutely necessary? Isn’t the adex enough?

I’m not an authority by any means, so hopefully 5.0 or another person with more experience and knowledge will come confirm or deny what I’m saying:

Arimidex is an aromatase inhibitor (AI). It’s purpose is to keep the steroids from converting to estrogen, helping to keep away the multitude of problems that can arise from having too much of that hormone in your body. Obviously different doses are needed for different people, but 0.125-0.25mg ED or EOD seems to be a gold standard for the majority of users.

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) is used to stimulate the production of natural testosterone by mimicking leutenizing hormone (LH). As I’m sure you know, the use of testosterone and many other AAS suppresses the production of endogenous test. This can lead to a longer PCT and reduced retention of gains. By using 500-1000iu of HCG per week while on cycle, one keeps their natural test levels from falling into the hole and keeps the testes at a normal level. I’m staying at roughly 500iu/week to avoid desensitizing the boys to LH. When it’s time for PCT, the testes are not so atrophied that one has to completely reboot natural test production. This makes for much less of a hassle and avoids a possible crash.

The beauty is that by using them together, the Arimidex keeps extra aromatization from occuring while I have not only the injected test, but the near-normal natural levels in my body. Just keep in mind that you don’t want take so much of an AI that you completely suppress your estrogen levels and likewise so much HCG that the testes stop responding to LH.

Sorry that explanation was so long, I just wanted to be thorough. And someone please correct me if I was mistaken in any part of it.

Looks relatively well thought out and planned. Refreshing for a first cycle post.

Nothing to add to the cycle itself. Your taper looks okay but if you’re going to use a SERM during the “stasis” or first few weeks of tapering, then i’d suggest clomid over nolva. Adding a SERM to the taper does divert from the way Pris originally laid it out…that being said i’ve used the taper twice now (both similar in length to yours) with SERM application during the stasis and first week of tapering, and felt it was the best PCTs of my cycling life. Can’t give an opinion on running just a straight test taper…but i trust those who say it works.

i agree, it’s a good looking cycle.

you know I am finally starting to see the changes in the “first cycle” posts I was hoping for when first putting the newbie cycle thread together…it seems most guys now have at least put some thought into things before throwing up a cycle plan…I think it’s helping to provide better overall discussion as well because the board isn’t clogged with crap.

My advice for PCT would be as follows (which is basically verbatim of what Pris told me)

  • stop your HCG before the stasis if you have been running it.
  • if you are going to run a SERM do it during the stasis (100mg test/w + SERM should result in no supression of natural LH/FSH). the way i see it you are killing 2 birds with one stone…getting your body used to normal test levels again and getting your LH/FSH going early
  • do the taper with just test in your system

So far this is working well for me. Nuts are still holding their size ok and I have had no crash 3 weeks into the stasis.